New Product Updates

We know there are many anxious photographers out there waiting patiently (and a few not so patiently) for the products we’ve announced and have yet to ship. It’s been a busy summer in development and all of these projects are moving along. Here’s an update for each:

ControlTL for Nikon: What was thought to be a relatively quick leap from the Canon version to the Nikon version has taken far longer than expected. The intro of the 5D Mark II threw the whole schedule for a loop as the new Canon required a complete development process of its own for ControlTL – it was not as simple as a cut-n-paste of the ControlTL firmware already developed for the other Canon cameras.

Six months later and with the release of the 4.30 firmware in July, we finally put Canon behind us and switched over to Nikon full time. There is a bunch of work already done, especially on the hardware side, but the communications systems are entirely different. We are making great progress now and we are pushing forward as fast a possible. Our last estimate was for a “Fall 2009” intro and we just might have something by December 20th and make it on a technicality, but it is more likely to be January 2010 for the 344MHz FCC version, allowing for a solid beta test period. 433MHz CE versions would follow shortly behind by a few weeks.

AC7 Shield for Canon Speedlites: The AC7 is nearing completion. Pre-production pieces have started to arrive and we should have boxed units ready to go around October 1st.

AC9 ZoneController: Plastics for the AC9 ZoneController are being finalized now and units using prototype shells have been in testing for a couple weeks. The final product has an expected availability date of November 1st. This little product makes life a whole lot simpler when it comes to lighting control.

And to make things interesting, look for a new product announcement next week for two more ControlTL products (Nikon users – there are multiple development paths, this does not impact Nikon development in any way).

22 Responses

  1. Does this mean the end of updates to improve the units for canon 5D mkII users?

  2. Take all the time you need to get it right. I am anxiously awaiting the Nikon products!

  3. I am also shocked to read this press release. my flextt5 still work very erratic (mostly 5dII but also other cameras) and I am unable to use them at a “real” shoot. they are unusable.
    It is unbelievable that you keep on selling those radios in this condition. to be honest, I think it is customer cheating to do so.
    A quick search shows that their are many people out there, that still have a lot of problems. for example here:
    I would say that you would do yourself a favour to, to get those radios finally working.

  4. mmmm sorry to hear that.. i came to this site today to thanks Pocket Wizard for their great product. I can finally shoot in the bright sun with great succes… as long as the flash batteries are very good, the ETTL works great 😉 maybe some people are not happy..and that is sad…but i think happy customers should take the time to say thank you. So thank you Pocket Wizard !

  5. just want to add that i’m using the unit with a Canon MarkIII 1Ds, and 580ex and 430ex flashes. Great result with all my lenses.. my photos if you want to see huymmingbirds and

  6. ive changed over my 580exs for 430ex2’s and now im getting the results that i wanted from the beginning.
    im using a 5d2 w/tt1 and two 430ex2 w/tt5.

    you have to do this to get the slide and shoot simplicity.

  7. I’d like to see compatibility with my Metz 58

  8. so what is the word on the new developments from the sept 2nd post?

  9. “so what is the word on the new developments from the sept 2nd post?”

    I’m starting to wonder the exact same thing
    They tease with the promise of new gadgets, but don’t deliver.

  10. they also tease with great product functionlity, that they are unable to deliver. at least, that’s what I read out of those not reliable working radios for canon flashes. seems to buy business philosophy

  11. to be fair, it isn’t entirely the fault of PW that the FLEX system does not work 100% with the canon flash system.

    canon doesn’t release the communications protocol so PW must reverse eng this. canon change the protocol when it pleases, as apparently happened for the 5D2

    also, the 580xx flashes are major emitters of RF noise. this noise isn’t a problem for canon or its system, but clearly a real PITA for PW

    at least PW are trying to address the problem. give them credit

  12. I second David’s remarks. PW (LDA Design) is addressing the range issue as best they can. I think its remarkable the reverse engineering work they did. This flex platform with the easy of reprogramming will be a long standing platform. The design can provide far more benefits than any other system currently on the market. Once again placing PW as the one to follow. We have seen this year from both Pocket Wizard and Radio Popper the dificulties of third party radio TTL syncronization.

    But comon PW give us an update. We would love to know how your efforts are going. Both good and bad.

  13. I am sorry, I have to disagree. I don’t care, what they do, so the product is a bit less unusable or not. If there are so many people out there, that paid 200$ per radio and can’t use it, this product does belong into the rubbish bin, but certainly not on the market.

    so, if canon-flashes are the problem and they and they make it impossible to produce a usable product, i will not bring it to market.
    it seems radio popper has found a usable solution (at least, that’s what users are saying) and pw not. if it was my business, these engenieers would certainly not working in my business anymore. pw had a very good reputation for expensive but very reliable products until they released the new radios. that is gone.
    and reading that they are working on new products, when many users are waiting for reasonable working radios is just ghoulish. if they continue to deliver like that, I hope and predict they are out of business soon.

  14. So I guess this means other brand compatibility will be a long time coming? I was hoping to see Pentax at some point soon, but then that wouldn’t happen until at least next year, based on your schedule?

    (Might be easier for you guys though – PTTL doesn’t look nearly as complex as the Canon/Nikon versions.)

    I also use Metz flashes; not sure if you’d need to let them know any details for them to issue an update for their USB-enabled flashes.

  15. It’s October 6th ~ Where can I get the AC7 shields?

  16. Could you please let us know what the 2 new ControlTL products are? I’m hoping they have something to do with Studio Strobe Level adjustment with the Mini/Flex/ZoneController. I was getting ready to pull the trigger on a set of PW’s but then I saw that the competition would be able to control my Alien Bees… That would be very nice. The lack of a data port on the Flex has me wondering how they would implement this functionality unless they could use the hotshoe to output the control signal via a hotshoe to telephone cord adapter (for the Alien Bees). They have teased possible Studio Level control, but the lack of information has me on the fence with my purchase. I don’t understand why you tease something without backing it up with a reasonable implementation plan. Why not just tell us what’s coming? How many more purchases would you have if you could share your product roadmap with us?

  17. NIce…. AC7 shields shipping beginning of October? Guess not. No updates either. Broke the hotshoe off of my mini tt1 at a wedding last weekend. Done with this system. Radiopopper PX units arrive this week!

  18. Why have a blog if your not going to pay attention to it?

    This is unfortunately falling into place with your business practices.

    It is now October 12th, where are the AC7 shields?

    BTW, Radiopopper does respond on their blog!

    I’m growing weary & either need the additional “shields” to make the PW products perform “as they were advertised and sold”, or I’m dumping Pocket Wizard all together. Plus II units also…

  19. Was just about to press the “purchase” button on new PW radios but all issues and no info means I’ve pulled back.. Not happy to commit that kind of cash on a system that obviously does not (yet?) work as advertised.

    Why do we buy PW? Because in the past they have been the gold standard. Is this still the case? Will it be? Who knows..

    Come on PW get it sorted! I’m sure there are many more like myself waiting in the wings but will jump ship if no progress soon.

  20. Any update on the Nikon version? It’s been almost a year since the Nikon version was supposed to be out and there is still no mention of any updated, expected availability date. Should us Nikon shooters just go to radio poppers which is a much more responsive company that doesn’t treat Nikon users as 2nd class citizens?

  21. Any update on the Nikon version? Dec 20 has come and gone. I’ve lost confidence in Pocket Wizard. So disappointed. 😦

  22. Thanks for the comments! We’re working very hard on the Nikon version, and there is no official release date yet, although we certainly appreciate your enthusiasm! We look forward to releasing the Nikon version as much you.

    In the meantime, the 3-Day Satisfaction Guarantee MAC Group is offering in the USA and the latest improvements to the firmware show our devotion to making the best products possible.

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